Anger as FIA announces double points for Abu Dhabi season finale to spice up show

10 December, 2013

Abu Dhabi GP takes on major significance as from 2014

Abu Dhabi GP takes on major significance as from 2014

Formula 1 is to award double points for the last race of the season in a controversial attempt to keep championships undecided to the very end after four years of Red Bull domination.

The novelty, immediately dismissed by some angry fans as a needless gimmick, was the most eye-catching of several rule changes announced by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) on Monday.

The FIA said double points would ‘maximise focus on the championship until the end of the campaign’ and had been unanimously approved at a meeting in Paris of teams in the F1 Strategy Group and Formula 1 Commission.

Next year’s season-ender is the day-to-night race in Abu Dhabi on 23 November.

With the points haul on offer, that often processional event becomes worth twice as much as Monza or Monaco to teams and drivers - the glamour highlight of the season – and the same in scoring terms as classics like Spa and Suzuka combined.

Lewis Hamilton would not have been champion if the new double points finale system was in place then in 2008

Lewis Hamilton would not have been champion if the new double points finale system was in place in 2008

Fans were quick to express dismay and anger on social media, while others pointed out that bad luck in the final race would have a far greater impact on the title outcome than at any other point in the season.

International publications have described the highly controversial decision to award double-points in the 2014 season finale as “strange” (Bild) and “crazy” (La Gazzetta dello Sport).

Writing in the Daily Mail, correspondent Jonathan McEvoy said Formula 1′s decision-makers have “undermined the sport with a gimmick that should have been filed away with sprinklers and reversed grids in the file of batty ideas”.

France’s L’Equipe points out that, if the system had already been in place, Felipe Massa (not Lewis Hamilton) would be the 2008 Champion, and that Fernando Alonso would have beaten Sebastian Vettel to the 2012 crown.

Only three times in the last two decades would the identity of Formula 1′s World Champion have been different had double points been allocated for the final grand prix of the season.

Start of the 2013 Abu Dhabi GP

Start of the 2013 Abu Dhabi GP

“Why should a single race be worth more?” the Brazilian correspondent for Globo, Rafael Lopes, said. “It’s a very artificial way to keep the championship alive until the last Grand Prix.”

“Why should an average driver with an unreliable car have the same chance just because of the scoring system? And that’s not to mention that Abu Dhabi, to date, has hosted almost no good races on a pretty boring track,” he added.

Vettel, 26, won the last nine races and wrapped up his fourth title in a row with three rounds to spare this year but he would not have been champion in 2012 had double points been awarded in the last race.

Neither would Britain’s Lewis Hamilton have been champion with McLaren in 2008 nor Michael Schumacher for Ferrari in 2003, when Brazilian Felipe Massa and Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen would have taken the title instead. (Reuters & GMM)

Subbed by AJN.


  • StevetheGreat

    Dumbest idea ever. Whats next? Sprinklers and medals?

  • jeff

    This is crab.I’m looking interest. Seriously down right bullshit.

  • F1R

    This is an ill thought out knee-jerk reaction and completely pointless (no pun intended).
    A team is going to try and win the title as soon as they can.

    So in all the time F1 has been around, suddenly we need to change points in 1 race only ? Dumb, stupid idea.

    For the life of me I can’t see how it keeps the championship alive until the last GP. There is no guarantee of that and wouldn’t have changed this years result.

    Is this just an attempt to curb Red Bulls dominance ?
    Pffff, just ban Adrian Newey. Simple.

  • Butterfly

    StevetheGreat:

    How about sprinklers with medals, instead? Think about that.

  • The End

    F-1 The pinnacle of motor racing. The latest in chassis design, the most powerful and technological advanced engines, the best drivers all rolling on the ever evolving tires. Reduced to a spec series with gimmicks to make it “Fair” for all participants. Sad to see it end up this way.

  • Red Bull Cheats

    Haaaaaaaa. Oh I thought it was April 1st. This is real?

  • Hawk

    FIA has lost it. too much fire fighting.

  • Tom

    Suddenly the shortcuts and the sprinklers don’t seem that absurd…

  • RICHIE

    Why not just award points for the top three qualifying places on saturday eg:

    1st 10
    2nd 6
    3rd 2

  • Tamburello_1994

    * EXTENDED MIDDLE FINGER *

    Introducing artificial overtaking with DRS was one thing: Rigging up some “Daily Double” is drifting into game show territory – Alex Trebek would be proud. No need to fix something that isn’t broken. Hopefully there will be a group re-think on this before next season.

    Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.

  • JB over 20 live F1 races attended

    I have paid a lot of money to attend f1 races, why should the of race that I didn’t buy a ticket for be worth more then the one I did spend my money on?…… Total crap.

  • Maky

    Just make winning the race less ‘pointy’. Same with positions 2nd and 3rd. Screw this.

    Also, I’m for Cost cap.

  • sir EL

    why not use ‘road’ cars for last race

  • Hawk

    LOL…

  • Eevel

    What a joke!
    I’ve accepted DRS but this is just pathetic.
    Maybe what’s needed is for fans to stick together and boycott a season.
    Where’s Junior Johnson when you need him?
    Come on Junior, rally the troops! ;)

  • dan

    ill better watch and expect more fun race in formula-e, than being an avid fan in formula one as they are confusing….i mean the FIA

  • Melvyn Scott

    Why not just leave things as they are, and if things get too close at the end of the season, just have a “sack” race or a “three legged race” to determine who wins !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (actually, not a bad idea, it would be funny !!)

  • beslee

    Double laps for double points… That is more of a challenge

  • Michael Schumacher

    I have no problem with it to be honest. I think it adds more excitement to the finale and give others a better chance to win the title. I’m all for it!

  • Lars

    This has got to be one of the dumbest ideas ever…. I never write in medias or forums about F1 but this time I just had to
    Why not just add dice into the mix
    I can’t even begin to say how dumb this is….

  • Carsten Freier

    Sorry for Abu Dhabi but this is a good time to boycott the last race of the year. We are the fans and we want sport, not a show. So there must be equal rules for all. “No” to DRS and no to double points…

  • McLarenfan

    Next it will be Crashtor Malfunctinardo driving (sort of) the opposite direction in a Fire Truck (American) just to make life interesting.

  • Taskmaster

    This is obviously a Ferrari idea to gain whatever edge they can – a back door attempt to insure they don’t repeat the loss of 2012. Want proof? It’s the dumbest idea ever dumped on F1 and Ferrari have not used their veto power to nix it. They killed the weight addition, but let this go? Also, when applied to the last several seasons, Ferrari gains the most from this ridiculous idea. When Montezemolo said big changes were necessary for them to win, he wasn’t kidding. Go Ferrari go! If they game the system right, they can have this championship in the bag before the lights go out in Australia!

  • Dean C

    What a load of codswallop!!…How much did Abu Dhabi pay Jean Todt for this?

  • gaoguowei

    why fix something which isn’t broken? this is utterly stupid, i thought the FIA couldn’t be dumber but they’ve out done themselves this time

  • JR

    F1 used to have a scoring system that meant races had to be dropped from a drivers total, double points is far better than that, besides Formula E wants races decided by text voting, how ridiculous is that?

  • zack

    unacceptable ideas. Why not just shrink the point gap between the race winner and the runner-up.follow exactly motogp points format..

  • Bub

    I can’t believe what I’m reading. What a crock….!

    This would never have happened if the season ending race was going to be in Interlagos.

    Let’s hope that both championships are closed out in Brazil. Screw Abu Dhabi.

  • Darren

    Of course the teams are going to agree it because points mean money so the more of them the more money.

    I can see lower down teams designing cars just for whatever the last races circuit is.

  • gilgen

    And more points also mean that they will have to pay a heavier entrance fee for the following year!
    Clever of FIA to find a way to charge teams more!

  • Joe Kinnear

    This is the moment when everyone will say “What the F?”

  • Senna Prost

    First off, I do not think that double points for the last race is a good idea. It trivializes the value of the other races.

    But, if they intend to award double points, then why not have the teams nominate which one race they want double awards BEFORE the race weekend begins. (As a team, not a driver, that way they rise or fall together)

    That would make it more interesting and put some strategy in the mix.

    Just my two cents.

  • Urko

    Does anyone maybe know if that Bin Sulayem, who stepped down from candidature for president of FIA & at the same time supported J.Todt, in any corelation with Abu Dhabi?? Just asking;)

  • Gambrinus

    This is ridiculous. Award more points for some classic races that have high prestige if you want, like Monaco, Monza, Spa, Suzaka. But this bullshit is a slap in the face of all true F1 fans. After DRS this is the second step to turn F1 into an artificial spectacle like WWE wrestling. I don’t even want to know what comes next. Last race to be the Superbowl of F1 or a farce like Nascar chase?

    In my book any title won through this will be forever tainted. Ther’s just no way to sell me that a crap race on a crap track like Abu Dhabi is more worth then any of the other races.

    FIA is completely losing the plot. If they want to make sure more people watch the final races then have them on some good tracks with cars that are exciting! That’s all it takes. Not this gimmicky and artificial, slow paced eco mess that F1 is turning into.

  • ZombieF1

    Sh*t…..F1 is now F******1

  • Mattf1

    What a brilliant idea. I also think that drivers should have to race unicycles around the final lap of the last race while juggling petrol chainsaws. If you lose a limb you lose a percentage of the points you gained in all the other races by body mass removed.

    If you make it round but your chainsaw hasn’t got enough fuel left in it for the mandatory FIA sample then you are disqualified and the next driver over the line wins……

    If course you could supplement this with some sort of medal based system where the person with the least blood lost, or the one with the best style as judged by keypads the audience etc gets a medal they can then decide to gamble in a slot machine that can randomly assign them extra points or deduct points.

    There will have to be extra rules about preventing teams sneaking in electronic unicycle stability aids or anything Ferrari deems breaks the rules banned even if it obviously doesn’t.

    I think it’s workable

  • johans

    How about you castrate the last driver to cross the finish line ? that would really get the viewers tuning in and even more money for bernie !!

  • Dazy

    Terrible idea for the last race.

    Terrible track for any race.

    Boycott Abu Dhabi and send a message to the fools running (and ruining) our racing.

  • Hawk

    The problem will be the driver who loses the WDC bse of this crap. It will be terribly unfair.

  • Sean Coppinger

    Coming in 2016… points for effort as organisers say that it is not the winning, but the taking part that matters.

  • MICHAELPRESCOTTMACARTHUR

    No no no. you guys have it all wrong. 1/2 of the field goes in one direction and the other starts in the opposite direction. mix it up by using the even number/odd number in deciding directions.
    Anyone remember that old “B” movie Death Race 2000 ? do that, but only on the track.

  • David

    Blimey, Johans, just how much surgery could poor Max Chilton take?
    As true racing fans we count for little in Bernie’s eyes but we must make our feelings known loud and clear. As others point out, sport is vanishing, show biz is priority. Cancel Sky subscriptions, don’t buy merchandise, boycott races and blanket social media.

    Happy Christmas to all except FIA!

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